Do you hold classes on canning in St. Marys County. I have searched the...

Asked April 15, 2013, 4:26 PM EDT

Do you hold classes on canning in St. Marys County. I have searched the online listing and I did not see one. It seems odd considering our availability to free produce in St. Marys County. Some of the other courses are late in the year after I have already finished canning. I also want to know if there is an extension officer I can talk to/converse with (via email) about modifying a tested recipe for salsa. i want to incorporate fresh mango and reduce the vinegar for a fresher taste. The tested recipes I have tried have too strong a vinegar taste and no fruit in them. I do not want to make substitutions on my own of this magnitude without ensuring that it is safe. Thanks

St. Mary's County Maryland home food preservation

1 Response

Currently, there are no scheduled canning workshops for the general public in Southern Maryland for the 2013 season. However, a seasonal food preservation class is usually offered in neighboring Calvert County. Contact local University of Maryland Extension offices at http://extension.umd.edu for more information on food preservation and class schedules.

As recognized, safety is the highest concern with home canned foods. Modification of tested recipes is not recommended because altering the ingredients and amounts, particularly the vinegar and fruit, affects the acidity, which in turn will affect the safety of the canned product. Having your own recipe tested can be an extensive and costly process for home canning purposes. Therefore, finding a tested recipe through an up to date, research-based source is highly recommended, such as USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning, land-grant Cooperative Extension Service publications, or major manufacturers of home canning equipment and supplies.

An option is to add fruit, sugar, herbs or seasoning to properly home canned products after opening the jar just prior to using. Or, consider freezing salsa and other fruits or vegetables.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation http://nchfp.uga.edu has a wealth of current, reliable home food preservation information and resources, including safe tested recipes, tutorials, videos, publications, and links to Extension publications. Information on freezing and other food preservation methods are also available.